Deut. goes to the 10th generation:
Deu 23:2 - A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
Deu 23:3 - An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:
What I found interesting as a member of AA and thinking on heredity…
I came to wonder about ‘spiritual heredity’ because there are many AAers who got sober before they had children. Their children had never seen them drunk or drinking - but still the children became alcoholics or drug addicts (lots of them).
I also came to see that alcoholics weren’t special - the ‘hole in the soul’ is filled in many ways in society - workaholism, food, sex, hoarding, children (and then the ‘emptiness’ is back for ‘empty nest syndrome’. Or someone has children to ‘fulfill themselves’ but discovers that a child (or more) doesn’t quit fill that bill), ‘love’, extreme hobbies, video gaming, etc… Some try to escape the ‘lurking evil’ by thrill seeking. Others indulge in the evil vicariously. And some get tired of running from it and give into it in criminal activities and other depravities. Today’s thinking, anyway.
The ‘spiritual malady’ part of AA addresses the ‘hole in the soul’, the ‘God-sized hole’, that can only be filled spiritually. Seems that if the parents don’t become ‘spiritually filled’, then the children still have the similar-sized hole-in-the-soul. Choice of ‘filler’ is, perhaps, exposure (nature and nurture by parents/society). My mother had two alcoholic parents but wouldn’t touch a drop of alcohol - her primary ‘filler’ was food instead. Substitution. (My working observations, not fact, of course.)
AA speaks of spiritual deficiency and spiritual bankruptcy. Perhaps Grace gets us sober (or out of another addiction), but if we don’t continue to do 4-5th Steps (regular confession with a twist), then ‘full spiritual Healing’ does not occur.
20 The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
To me, I am not responsible for my father’s or mother’s sins (expressed or those that remain hidden in them) - but I am responsible for detecting the evil within myself that was ‘passed on’ and became my cross. The heart that is deceitful beyond all measure.
Children are mirrors of the parents, I’ve heard; we are all mirrors for each other. The heart of the serial killer has the same root of bitterness expressed that once lay hidden from me while I was busy thinking I was ‘better than’.
What I refuse to see within myself cannot be Healed. Digging up and handing over my own evil done (and evil inclinations in thought/word) is the deal, as I see it today. A ‘living sacrifice’.
Andrew Womack once said, “The problem with living sacrifices is that they keep crawling off the altar.”
P.S. For what it’s worth…I was baptized as an infant and born to two Catholic parents. Clean slate? Not from my experience.